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MI vs DD: Cracker of a tie expected

The trend of conservative starts in the Pepsi Indian Premier League-VI is likely to continue when Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians meet today at the Wankhede Stadium.

Although Dinesh Karthik believes the pitch is full of runs, he also disclosed that the nature of their batting line-up allows the team to negotiate the new ball and then accelerate at the end.


Sachin Tendulkar during Mumbai Indians’ practice session at Wankhede yesterday

The plans seems to make even more sense considering their opening batsmen, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting are technically well-equipped to survive the new ball and then counter attack. Although both of them are yet to make solid contribution, one gets the feeling that the true nature of the Wankhede pitch will suit both these legends.

Karthik defended suggestions that Ponting and Tendulkar were too conservative as openers in the T20 format. “No I don’t think so. The wickets we have played on have done a bit. But if you look at the score, we were around 50 in seven overs, so it is a decent start,” he said on match eve.

The contest between the Mumbai top order and the Delhi bowlers could well be the deciding factor in this match. In the corresponding match last year, the pace attack of Delhi were able to shoot out Mumbai Indians for only 92 and if the likes of Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan get it right this time, we could have a similar scenario today.

Malinga returns...
One area the Mumbai Indians are likely to be boosted in is the pace department with Lasith Malinga likely to return. Malinga bowled at full throttle at training yesterday and if he doesn’t pull up sore, he is likely to be steaming into the chants of “Ma-Lin-Ga” tonight.


Lasith Malinga bowls in the nets. Pics/Atul Kamble

A track full of runs with ball coming on to the bat nicely, a terrific battle is in store. Of course, the individual battles within could also be decisive. David Warner vs Mitchell Johnson, Ponting vs Yadav are match-ups that will be worth watching.

Given Delhi is yet to win a match, it won’t be a surprise if they do manage to topple the Mumbai Indians, especially if they can bat as a unit.

Ponting’s wishlist
>> Openers give a fiery start
>> Kieron Pollard continues his fine form
>> Harbhajan Singh bowls tightly
>> Lasith Malinga is fit to play
>> David Warner goes cheaply

Mahela’s wishlist
>> Unmukt Chand is back in form
>> Virender Sehwag is fit to play
>> Kieron Pollard fails
>> Lasith Malinga is ruled out
>> Umesh Yadav strikes early 

When they last met...
Delhi Daredevils stamped their authority over Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla in IPL-V on April 28. Put into bat, the hosts amassed 207-5 with swashbuckling Virender Sehwag blasting 73 in just 39 balls (8x4s and 4x6s).

Sehwag along with Mahela Jayawardene (55) put up an opening stand of 135 runs that virtually took the game away from Mumbai Indians. Kevin Pietersen then breezed to an unbeaten 26-ball 50 to reach the second-highest total of the IPL-V.

MI, in reply, could manage only 170-9 in 20 overs. Dinesh Karthik (40) and Ambati Rayudu (62) rejuvenated Mumbai with a 96-run fourth wicket partnership. Once the duo departed, MI succumbed with asking rate climbing rapidly.  

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